Looking for things to do in San Diego? Discover what you can do in San Diego, California – We found 15 best tourist attractions and places to visit.
San Diego is a city on the Pacific Ocean coast of Southern California located immediately adjacent to the Mexico–United States border.
It is also the eighth most populous city in the United States, known for its idyllic climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches and a dazzling array of world-class family attractions.
San Diego is frequently referred to as the “Birthplace of California”.
The city and all that the area offers is incredible, and this article will go into detail on the 15 best things to do in San Diego!
America’s Brightest City is sure to capture your heart!
Best Things to Do in San Diego
San Diego Convention Center
Known for incredible panoramic views of San Diego Bay, the San Diego Convention Center is the primary convention center in San Diego. Places to stay in the area
It is located in the Marina district of downtown San Diego near the Gaslamp Quarter.
Abundant, flexible space and five-star service make the San Diego Convention Center the meeting planner’s choice for hosting major conventions, trade shows, meetings and special events.
As the location of annual events like Comic-Con and various trade shows, the San Diego Convention Center is a hub for exciting gatherings of all kinds.
It is one of the most popular destinations in San Diego for tourists and business travelers alike.
San Diego Whale Watching Cruise
San Diego is among the world’s top destinations for viewing marine wildlife. Whale-watching cruises often also encounter dolphins, sea lions, seals, and other marine life off the San Diego coast. Places to stay in the area
One of the best places to take a whale-watching excursion is San Diego Harbor.
Tourist can choose a whale-watching tour by sailboat, a kayaking adventure from La Jolla Cove, or a wildlife boat tour guided by a marine biologist from the Birch Aquarium.
This experience is incredible and overwhelming at the same time. Both adults and kids will love this experience.
Explore USS Midway Museum
Located in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway (Museum) was America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Places to stay in the area
It is located in downtown San Diego, and houses an extensive collection of aircraft.
The interactive museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family. Visitors explore a floating city at sea, the amazing flight deck and its 29 restored aircraft and flight simulators.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a historic aircraft carrier. It is for sure one of the best things to do in San Diego.
San Diego Bay
San Diego Bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors on the west coast of North America.
Several parks and nature preserves are found at various locations along the shoreline. Places to stay in the area
Small boat sailing is extremely popular, and the bay is lined by dozens of marinas and nine yacht clubs.
For tourists and locals alike there many businesses that offer jet ski rental and boat rental to explore the scenic waterway.
A highlight of any visit to San Diego is spending time on San Diego Bay.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an 1,800 acre (730 ha) zoo that houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Places to stay in the area
It is visited by 2 million people annually, houses 3,000 animals representing roughly 400 species, as well as 3,500 plant species.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park immerses you in an incredible safari experience where herds of animals roam natural habitats in a vast reserve.
There are amazing views lions lounging in the grasslands, antelope and giraffes mingling, rhinos wallowing in waterholes, storks and cranes on the march, and more.
Discovering the adventure at this leading-edge wildlife park is one of the best things to do in San Diego.
Spend a day at La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is a major destination for anyone who visit San Diego. It is a small coastal inlet surrounded by picturesque sandstone bluffs that shelter the popular La Jolla Cove Beach. Places to stay in the area
Here, the water is calm and the cove is ecologically protected. There is also a world famous dive site that is located in the La Jolla ecological preserve.
La Jolla Cove is loved by both locals and visitors from around the world. From its breathtaking sunsets and majestic sea lions to seaside restaurants and kids activities, this beautiful setting offers an incredible experience to everyone.
Because of its extraordinary beauty, La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California.
Experience San Diego’s soul at Balboa Park
Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre historic urban cultural park in San Diego and one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. Places to stay in the area
It offers 15 museums, various gardens, arts and international culture associations, as well as the San Diego Zoo.
All this makes it a place that offers something historical, horticultural, educational and recreational for everyone.
It is also renowned for its brilliant displays of seasonal flowers, shady groves of trees and meandering paths through rolling lawns.
It is one of North America’s most iconic urban parks and a must see on any visit to San Diego.
The gigantic city park is part of the soul of this diverse city in California. Balboa Park is where you can experience San Diego’s past and see its future.
Visit Children’s Pool
Paying a visit to Children’s Pool Beach (also known as Casa Beach) is one of the best things to do in San Diego.
The Children’s Pool is a small beach partially protected by a seawall, who became famous especially for scuba diving because of the reefs just offshore as well as for a popular viewing area for harbor seals. Places to stay in the area
Seals and occasionally sea lions haul out on the beach to rest year-round.
Visitors can best view the seals and sea lions from the breakwater wall or the park near Coast Boulevard. This is a very picturesque beach with a panoramic view and a great picture spot.
Less of a pool and more of a wildlife sanctuary, The Children’s Pool is a must-see attraction in San Diego.
Enjoy stunning views at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a 68-acre City of San Diego regional park which features expansive ocean views, dramatic cliff formations and caves and native coastal sage scrub habitat. Places to stay in the area
With its rugged coastline and panoramic views, a drive along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, offers breathtaking views and the most amazing sunsets that you will ever see.
For many visitors, simply sitting on the benches atop the cliffs and enjoying the stunning views is enough.
Sunset Cliffs is also an ideal location to watch the California gray whale migrate from the Bering Sea to Baja California every year.
Do not forget to bring your camera and you’ll get a great shot with an incredible back drop of the Pacific Ocean.
Visit Old Town San Diego
The Old Town has huge historical significance in San Diego, and is considered to be the ‘birthplace’ of California. Places to stay in the area
Here visitors can find some historical buildings, such as The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park – that provide a glimpse into colonial life in San Diego; The Whaley House Museum – a designated haunted house in California;
Old Town Market Place is home to a variety of carts and shops that sell handcrafted trinkets, clothing and accessories traditional to the Mexican culture.
Also, Bazaar del Mundo – features award-winning restaurants and international shops with a dazzling array of ethnic clothing, jewelry, pottery, furnishings and many other treasures.
Visiting one of the city most popular destinations, Old Town is one of the best things to do in San Diego.
Discover Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach is one of San Diego’s popular neighborhoods and home to one of San Diego’s more developed nightlife scenes, with a great variety of bars, eateries, and clothing stores located along Garnet Avenue and Mission Boulevard. Places to stay in the area
Pacific Beach offers a relaxing getaway with sandy beaches and great surfing. Actually, Pacific Beach has some of San Diego’s best beaches, like Tourmaline Surfing Park or North Pacific Beach.
Visitors can also find local parks with playgrounds and green space for picnics and play for the kids. And right next to the boardwalk is the Crystal Pier, the perfect place for fishing and savoring views of the Pacific Ocean.
Pacific Beach is a breathtaking destination. Therefore, is a must destination for anyone visiting San Diego.
Take a stroll through Belmont Park
Located on the surf and sand of Mission Beach, Belmont Park is San Diego’s only beachfront amusement and entertainment center. Places to stay in the area
Attracts millions of people each year. The park’s most iconic attraction is the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, which is considered a local landmark.
Shop for beachwear, stock up on souvenirs or rent a day of fun with beach rentals. There’s something for everyone at Belmont Park.
However you choose to spend your day, Belmont Park is the best way to play and one of the most beautiful places to visit in San Diego.
The Gaslamp Quarter is a neighborhood in the downtown area of San Diego, listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.
It includes 94 historic buildings, most of which were constructed in the Victorian Era. Places to stay in the area
Gaslamp Quarter has good restaurants, entertainment, and shopping for tourists and locals alike. It is the site of various events and festivals, including Mardi Gras.
It is unthinkable to go to San Diego without taking at least a walk on 5th Avenue, the main street of the Gaslamp Quarter.
But there is more to explore in the Gaslamp Quarter beyond 5th Avenue. For sure you will notice the Balboa Theatre dedicated to show contemporary films produced in Mexico City and to present the biggest stars of Latin American cinema.
Visiting this area is a marvelous experience for any kind of tourist.
Liberty Public Market
Liberty Public Market embodies the unique spirit of San Diego. It’s a combination of everything that makes it such a vibrant place. Places to stay in the area
Liberty Public Market is located within Liberty Station’s oldest Barrack, which was once home to San Diego’s Naval Training Camp.
Here, locals and visitors alike can immerse themselves in the work of the best artisans around.
The market features more than 30 independently run food stalls, each with its own unique flair. Visitors can stroll through the bustling market and sample a variety of cuisines, including pizza, tacos, salads and more.
The Liberty Public Market is the perfect spot for those in a group or family, because of the variety that it offers.
Discover Point Loma
Point Loma is a hilly peninsula and an historically important spot, being the landing place of the first European expedition to come ashore in present-day California. Places to stay in the area
Rich in nature, people, and history, Point Loma is one of the area’s most-visited neighborhoods, featuring some of the best activities and outdoor adventures around.
Visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and discover some of the best tide pooling in San Diego. Point Loma is also home to the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a solemn memorial for those who have served our country and a tranquil setting for reflection.
Point Loma has become a top vacation destination in San Diego! Immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of the neighborhood.
Best Places to Visit in San Diego
- Best Things to Do in San Diego
- San Diego Convention Center
- San Diego Whale Watching Cruise
- Explore USS Midway Museum
- San Diego Bay
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- Spend a day at La Jolla Cove
- Experience San Diego’s soul at Balboa Park
- Visit Children’s Pool
- Enjoy stunning views at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
- Visit Old Town San Diego
- Discover Pacific Beach
- Take a stroll through Belmont Park
- Gaslamp Quarter
- Liberty Public Market
- Discover Point Loma